Saturday, November 25, 2006

Genes induced by SARS infection

drj writes "SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) is a form of pneumonia with a mortality rate of ~10%. No new cases have been diagnosed since mid-2004, quelling fears of a pandemic. It remains unclear why this coronavirus was is so infectious and deadly. Here, Reghunathan and colleagues analyzed the genes induced in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of 10 SARS patients. They report that 186 genes are expressed at different levels in the PBMC of SARS-infected people compared to PBMC from uninfected people. Several genes are strongly induced, including those encoding lactotransferrin (LTF), a marker of neutrophil degranulation, the calcium binding protein S100A9, which regulates monocyte and neutrophil migration, and the pro-apoptotic protein lipocalin 2 (Lcn2). Surprisingly, genes encoding inflammatory cytokines (such as the interferons) and other immune-related genes (such as HLA class I) are not induced. This unusual response to viral infection may contribute to the pathogenesis of SARS. FullandFree Reghunathan et al. BMC Immunology 2005, 6:2 Expression profile of immune response genes in patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome"

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